If you’re concerned about anything related to the planning and design of a Monolithic Dome school church, gym, etc. you will probably find the answer you need in this section. Besides articles by experts and Monolithic Dome owners and/or administrators, it contains tools, such as Googles’s “SketchUp,” for planning a dome and photographs. And new information is frequently added.
In David B. South’s latest President’s Sphere, he addresses the risks of constructing low-profile Monolithic Domes. Using his forty years of experience building Monolithic Domes and thin-shell pioneer, Dr. Arnold Wilson’s engineering expertise, he cautions dome-builders that dropping the profiles of Airformed domes can have catastrophic consequences with no appreciable benefits.
Many people do not know that there are some serious tax implications for designers of public-funded structures. Such buildings include schools, city halls – anything paid for with public monies. I urge architects and designers to review Section 179-D of the tax code. You as a designer can get a tax rebate of up to a $1.80 per square foot when you design these publicly financed buildings.
Monolithic now offers concession stands shaped to resemble giant football helmets and painted with a team’s emblem and colors. They’re the perfect, team-supportive concession stands for any sport stadium or venue.
After reviewing the FEMA requirements for a structure capable of providing a safe shelter for people in areas where hurricanes and tornados represent a real danger, the Monolithic Dome, because of its very nature, heads the list for economy and strength to resist extreme loads.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, but the Monolithic Dome comes close. The original cost of a Monolithic Dome is generally less than that of a similar- size conventional building. Often it is much less. Then there is cost recovery. Generally, over a period of twenty years, savings in energy costs will equal the full cost of a Monolithic Dome facility. So, in effect, it becomes free.
Can a quality bandshell be designed and built economically? Yes – with a Monolithic Dome as the curved form that a bandshell needs.
Indoor golf may now be affordable utilizing the Monolithic Dome. A nine-hole course could be built perfectly in four, 400-foot domes. Proposed plans include two holes in each of three domes and three holes in the fourth dome.
For several years Monolithic has been searching for an affordable door whose ability to resist tornado-force winds matched that of a Monolithic Dome. “We did not have a problem finding doors with the integrity we wanted,” said David South, president of Monolithic. “We found them, but they were in the $5000 to $7000 range. Put a few of those on a building and they really skyrocket the price of a project. We needed a door with two advantages: tornado-resistant strength and affordability. About a year ago, we found both in the Tornado Tamer.”
A Monolithic Emergency Center is an all-encompassing complex that includes specific areas for fire engines, rescue vehicles and ambulances; 911 and police communication centers; a disaster shelter. It is much, much more than a fire station.
A Monolithic Dome is often used in its most economical configuration as part of a sphere. But sometimes the customer wants something more grand.
In a Monolithic Dome, the simplest sound treatment is a cloud of sound absorbing material hanging in the center (focal point) of the dome.
Within any building, many things affect air quality. Those things include carpeting, paint, paneling, furnishings, etc. Each or everyone can emit gases into the air that are bad for us. Organic materials within a building can harbor their own kind of bad stuff, such as mold, mites, bacteria, viruses, insects and even vermin.
So just what is the solution?
This is a familiar problem. Administrators of various building projects, but particularly schools, often come up with a general plan that allows them to keep making the building bigger and as square as possible. Reason: Have the least amount of surface exposed to the weather because the surface is what generally lets in the heat or the cold. But Monolithic Domes give us a new paradigm – an attractive, practical one. The actual heat loss through the shell of a Monolithic Dome is close to zero, so it is not part of the equation.
When the iPhone came out, we could immediately recognize the benefits. We knew that if we were going to make the switch to the iPhone, we would have to come up with a dome calculator.
When designing your dome for residential or commercial use, it’s worth thinking through multiple construction possibilities early in your planning. Floor plans and fixtures might take up the bulk of your time, but an often overlooked issue is the dressing out of your exterior windows.
So after all the back-slapping, hand-shaking and fan fair during the Airform inflation, you’re finally ready to get down to the business of interior construction. From inside, you’re admiring the eye-catching, organic shape of the inflated Airform and the ethereal translucence as the sunlight filters through fabric, when a contractor derails your train of thought.
“This is really dynamite! I’m amazed at how it is expanding. When I first started, I never even imagined the possibilities we’re now coming up with.” The speaker is a delighted David B. South, president of Monolithic and the “This” and “it” David is talking about is the Monolithic Door.
We often design a Monolithic Dome with a vertical stemwwall that goes straight up and acts as a base for the dome. Over the years, we’ve developed several ways of building stemwalls and have tried several options.
For a very long time we have known, planned around and used the thermal inertia of the Monolithic Dome. We call that thermal inertia the thermal battery. Why battery? Because significant savings in heating and cooling equipment can be achieved if you can trim the highs and lows by using the battery.
While clients often see architects as a necessary evil, I don’t. The reality is that architects are necessary. But as in any profession, there are the good, the bad and the ugly, or architects who are talented, honest and reliable and their opposites.
Covering a Monolithic Dome with tile can be both practical and beautiful.
Why would someone want to cover a Monolithic Dome with metal cladding? David South, Monolithic’s president, says, “Metal cladding is an arrow in the quiver – a problem solver – that’s especially useful when things get really nasty.”
Rising from the Texas horizon in a futuristic fashion are unusual looking white domes. Many a motorist has stopped on I-35E near Italy, Texas, for a closer look. What are these one-piece buildings that look much like a puffed marshmallow or an Arctic igloo? They are Monolithic Domes.
Gordon Cuthbertson, owner of Cuthbertson Mechanical Engineers, of Mesa, Arizona and Ontario, Canada, was a skeptic. When Gordon first got involved with Monolithic Domes about four years ago, he, like so many others, had a hard time accepting and believing what the Monolithic Dome Institute (MDI) says about the thermal mass capability of its structures.
“It’s the stretch!” That’s what Rick Crandall, one of Monolithic’s consulting architects, credits for his continued interest in Monolithic Domes. This Arizonian recalls that in 1996 when his association with the Monolithic Dome Institute first began, two factors fueled his interest in domes. “I was persuaded by the good experiences I had working with David South and other architects in the first four or five projects we did,” Crandall says. “But another factor was equally compelling: the stretch.”
SketchUp is a drafting/rendering program produced by Google. On sketchup.google it’s defined as “software that you can use to create, share and present 3D models.” It’s new and it’s fun, and with it you can design a Monolithic Dome home, school, church, gymnasium — or whatever.